homelife

Easy Baked Apples

Last night it got down to 58 degrees. Burr…Fall is upon us! I’m ready for scarves and spiced cider and mittens and leaves.

Fall brings to mind comfort foods, hot desserts and turkey. And this is one of my favorite (not so healthy-involves butter, but appears healthy-also involves apples) desserts. Printable recipe card found at the bottom of this post.

Easy Baked Apples are one of my favorite go-to’s when last minute guests arrive. To really push it over the top, add a little french vanilla ice cream. Yum….

 


Here’s what you’ll need to make these Easy Baked Apples:

4-6 Jonathan Apples
6 TBS butter-room temperature
1/4 C Raisins
1/4 C finely chopped Walnuts or Pecans
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Lemon juice (only needed if you are making these ahead and cooking them later, as I did)
1 TBS sugar (if desired to make the dessert a little sweeter, but can be left out)

 


By using either an apple corer or a paring knife, remove the center of the apple, including all seeds.

 


Take a moment to make a face with your cored apples.

 


Place your apples in a sprayed/greased microwavable baking dish.

 


In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the 6 TBS room temperature butter to the 1/4 C of raisins.

 


Add the 1/4 Walnuts or Pecans.

 


Next, add the 1/4 tsp of Nutmeg.

 


And then add the 1/2 tsp of Cinnamon.

 


If you are making this dessert hours ahead of when you might want to actually consume it, add the 1 tsp of lemon juice. The lemon juice allows the apples to maintain their color and crispness, but gives you the option of cooking the apples several hours or even a day later.

 


If you enjoy sweeter desserts, add 1 TBS sugar to the bowl. I opted not to do this, allowing the ice cream to sweeten the deal.

 


Mix everything together using a fork.

 


Using a baby spoon or a knife, fill the apples completely full and a little overflowing with the mixture.

 


Tightly saran wrap the top of your baking dish. (If cooking the apples later, place them in the fridge until you are ready.)
Microwave for about 6 minutes, or until the apple skin is pliable and easily cut with a butter knife.

 


Let the apples cool slightly for 1-2 minutes, leaving the saran wrap on the baking dish.

Transfer to your serving plate and liberally spoon the excess juices over the apples (and over the ice cream, if desired). Serve the apples whole or sliced up for easy eating.

Enjoy!

Easy Baked Apples
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Home Cooking
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 6
 

Easy Baked Apples are a great go-to dessert when last minute guests arrive.
Ingredients
  • 4-6 Jonathan Apples
  • 6 TBS butter-room temperature
  • ¼ C Raisins
  • ¼ C finely chopped Walnuts or Pecans
  • ¼ tsp Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice (only needed if you are making these ahead and cooking them later, as I did)
  • 1 TBS sugar (if desired to make the dessert a little sweeter, but can be left out)

Instructions
  1. Core each apple, carefully removing all seeds.
  2. Place your apples in a sprayed/greased microwavable baking dish.
  3. In a bowl, add the ¼ Walnuts or Pecans.
  4. Next, add the ¼ tsp of Nutmeg.
  5. And then add the ½ tsp of Cinnamon.
  6. If you are making this dessert hours ahead time, add the 1 tsp of lemon juice.
  7. If you enjoy sweeter desserts, add 1 TBS sugar to the bowl.
  8. Mix everything with a fork.
  9. Fill apples completely full and a little overflowing with the mixture.
  10. Tightly saran wrap the top of your baking dish. (If cooking the apples later, place them in the fridge until you are ready.)
Microwave for about 6 minutes, or until the apple skin is pliable and easily cut with a butter knife.
  11. Let apples cool for 1-2 minutes, leaving the saran wrap on the baking dish.
  12. Transfer to plate and spoon excess juices over apples-or over ice cream topping, if desired.
  13. Serve apples whole or sliced up for easy eating.

 

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Garage Sale Addict-Part 11

This morning, I’m sharing Chapter 5, Part 11 of my story, “Garage Sale Addict”. If you’d like to catch up, here’s:
Garage Sale Addict, Part 1
Garage Sale Addict, Part 2
Garage Sale Addict, Part 3
Garage Sale Addict-Part 4
Garage Sale Addict-Part 5
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 6″
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 7″
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 8″
Garage Sale Addict-Part 9
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 10″

 

And, here is my disclaimer one more time…

Disclaimer: I am nervous about sharing this. Instead of me being able to use words like “crap” or my made up favorites like “goody-ness”, what I’m about to share will be held to a higher standard. Because it’s part of my hidden soul-my personal writing projects. Who knows if this will ever go anywhere-but it’s fun to write and to dream. I’d love to hear what you have to say, or maybe I won’t.

Chapter 5-Part 11

Bonnie chose the long route home, stopping and turning at every corner possible. She stopped at through a bank drive through without making a deposit, just to ensure no one was following her.

I may be paranoid, but I’m not stupid, she muttered to herself as she adjusted her rearview mirror. Finally, she arrived home and locked the door behind her. Slinking to the ground, her head was whirling with that afternoon’s incident. What has Ros gotten herself into?

Bonnie’s phone rang and she grabbed it immediately. The caller ID showed it was Micah.

“Did you get home ok?” Micah asked on the other end.

“Yes, I took a circuitous route and I don’t think I was followed. How about you?”

“I wasn’t as successful. One of the suits tailed me, but I stopped at a coffee shop to wait it out. He’s in here, trying to appear natural around all these granola kids. He ordered a black coffee and I think the barista about had a heart attack.” Micah snickered.

“What are you going to do?,” Bonnie asked.

“I’m about to confront the guy. What could he do to me in a public place? I thought I’d let you know, in case I end up missing. I’m at the coffee house on Main and 4th.”

“Copy, Eagle. Meadowlark has taken note of your whereabouts. Proceed with caution.” Bonnie allowed herself a little giggle.

“Meadowlark? Unusual code name-but at least I won’t forget it. I’ll touch base with you soon. Over and out.”

They both hung up. Bonnie was so exhilarated with the cat and mouse game, she decided to write down everything that had happened up until now. Maybe seeing it in black and white would help her to make sense of it all. She started with the first garage sale, and soon moved on to the second and third sales. She categorized sightings of the “Suits”, conversation with Tibar and any other detail she could think of.

After all her plotting and sketching, it still didn’t make sense. There should be no reason for Rosalyn to be under scrutiny. She wondered aloud, “Ros, what are you really involved with?” Her house answered back with only silence.

********

Ros jerked awake to nothingness in the cold, cement room. The steel chair had become one with her and she stood up to rub at her low back. She paced the room, trying the door for what seemed liked the one hundredth time. Running her fingers along the grout lines between the cement block, she counted the indentions from one block to the next. She began to sing one of her favorite radio songs softly, then louder when there was no reprimand. For some reason, the top 40 hit began to make her cry.

“Sit down and be quiet!” The voice was back, but Rosalyn ignored the command and continued to the next wall, singing and counting blocks. She felt like a crazed idiot.

“I said to sit down!”

“No.” Rosalyn broke from her song to stare directly at the smoky glass and shout out her response. “Look, I’m tired, cold, hungry and honestly a bit ticked off. If you expect anything more out of me, you are sadly mistaken. I’m done. Stick bamboo shoots under my nails, I don’t care.” She lied about that last part, but it made her feel tough.

“Ms. Jones, have a seat. That is a direct order.” The voice said calmly.

“Make me.” She felt like a second grader.

“I wish you hadn’t said that.” The microphone cut out and the door to the room swung open abruptly. Three men entered the room, grabbed her arms and shoved her back into the steel chair. Her wrists were zip-tied around her back before she even knew what was happening.

Rosalyn pouted, letting her chin drop to her chest. One of the suits lifted up her chin and stared directly into her eyes. He actually seemed kind-with laugh lines around his eyes and salt and pepper hair just above his temples. He looked more of the role of a new grandpa, rather than an interrogator.

“Who do you work for?,” the grandpa interrogator said.

“I’ve told you a thousand times-I work for myself,” her voice felt thin and defeated.

“Ms. Jones, we want to let you go-we do,” the interrogator looked to his partners standing beside her. “We all have lives outside of here. Why are you making this so difficult? Just tell us your contacts and we can all go home to our families.”

“My contacts? I’m a pet photographer. I live in my Grandma’s house. I’m unmarried. I’ve been recently dumped by an excuse of a man. I have nothing. I am nothing.” Rosalyn began to cry.

“Then where are you finding these name-brand items that you are selling at your garage sale? You are committing fraud to the public by selling counterfeit goods and that, Ms. Jones-is a Class C Felony. We can put you away for a long time.”

Rosalyn sniffled and wiped her nose with her gray sleeve. She wrenched her chin out of the interrogator’s hand and plunked it back down on her chest.

“Give me a break,” she mumbled. “I haven’t done anything wrong. Prove that I have and then we’ll talk.”

The three men left the room as quickly as they had entered. They flicked the switch, shutting off the single light in the room and enveloping Rosalyn in complete darkness. Her tingling hands signaled her arms soon would fall asleep. Rosalyn began to cry once more, her sobs echoing in the empty room.

****

Rosalyn heard a slight scratching piercing through the darkness. She pinpointed the sound and could see sliver of light beaming from underneath the door. Something was being slid underneath the door. Rosalyn forced herself out of the chair slowly, but her arms still tied behind her making it difficult. Falling to her knees, she used her nose to pull an envelope towards her. As soon as she had tugged at the envelope, she heard footsteps on the other side of the door clomp away from her.

The room was dark, save the bit of light around the door frame. She drew her hands underneath her, weaving her legs through one at a time. Clumsily, Rosalyn tore at the envelope with her pinky fingers. Inside she found a lighter and two pictures. Using the lighter, she melted through the plastic zip-ties. With her hands now free, she crawled to the corner directly underneath the smoky glass, and held the lighter up to inspect the two pictures. One picture was of her selling a Chang belt to one of her customers. The suit was standing beside her in the photo, tape recorder in hand. She hadn’t noticed him that day at the sale. The second photo was of her photographing her last client with the bird dog. The suit was off in the distance, but definitely watching her.

How long had she been followed? Both photos were taken from some distance, the pixelation caused by blowing up a photo evident. The suit’s face was grainy, with no distinct features other than black dots where eye sockets should have been.What were these photos supposed to tell her? She flipped the photos over. Each had long code hand printed on the back. The first photo of her with the Chang belt read: -01-02-17-33-458-2-19-0-0-1. None of the numbers were significant to her. The second photo read similarly, but used a few letters in place of numbers: 213-7-J-14-SP-12-N-89. She scoured the envelope for any more clues, but it was blank. Rosalyn sat in the corner, silently saying the codes over and over again, trying to make sense of it.

The only place to hide her puzzling information was underneath the chair or the table. Rosalyn crawled through the abyss to find  the chair. She ran her fingers underneath the chair, feeling a lip between the seat and the legs. Jamming the envelope into the vacant space underneath the seat, she prayed it wouldn’t be visible when the lights were inevitably flipped back on. Rosalyn tucked the lighter into her shirt sleeve, crawled back through the darkness, found a corner to lay her head against and fell back asleep.

****

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Things are happening right now.

Quite often I get caught up in tomorrow’s to-do list. Or even the next day’s, or next week’s, or next month’s. Every once in awhile, I’ll have a quiet moment as I sit on my back porch, watch the sun break through the darkness, the birds wake up-and I’m reminded of the “here and now”.

Here are a few things happening right now.

 

Big Max Cat
This guy is busy burrowing through the grass chasing a worm. It’s a thrillingly slow chase.

 

Morning Bird
I’ve created “The Birds” in my backyard due to a bagful of old bread. I’m a little afraid of eyeball removal by aforementioned feathered foes, but you gotta take risks sometimes.

 

Kayle Rbbrbnd Gun
This hot little number has been studying every spare minute to take his year end test-which secures his job with Tulsa Fire Department-today. The term “year-end test”, has become the butt of many a joke. Just say the words out loud.

Yep. Sounds like urine test, doesn’t it?

 

Tomatoes, Garden
I have harvested okra, tomatoes and peppers this morning-and in turn reaped the benefits of 576 bug bites, 2 muddy shoes and one irritated-by-okra-leaves arm.

 

Bible, bottom side
As I folded laundry, did dishes and got ready for my day-my mind raced through my real estate listings and everything I needed to do-(while “Love Shack” by the B-52′s and “I want to hold your hand” by the Beatles synonymously played in the back of my brain-obviously).

I knew I needed to quit worrying and grabbed the book of absolute truth. (My thoughts are italicized).

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life (seriously-me not worry?!), what you will eat or drink (I think about what I’m going to eat next while I’m still eating); or about your body (I find flaws on it nearly every day), what you will wear (it only takes me a few hours to decide). Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father (or Rebekah) feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they (am I? woah.)? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (you’ve got a good point there, God…)
Matthew 6:24-34
Mushrooms, Garden
During my “here and now”, worry tends to take over. But after reading this scripture, I was reminded to stop and observe the mushrooms (I have no roses to smell) and give my worry, fear, anxiety, and stress over to God. After all, if He can prompt some girl in Tulsa to share her day old bread with the sparrows, won’t He see to it that I’m taken care of?

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My “House of Dirt”

Biceps follows someone on Instagram that makes him mad. According to him, “they are so good, so in shape, so muscular and so ridiculously strong” it makes him angry that he’s not on that level. As if Biceps could get any stronger or better looking.

My response to his instagram outburst this morning was: “They’re going to die, too.” A callous (but funny?) response, I know. There is no escaping death-unless you are Michael Jackson and you have yourself frozen, of course.

No matter what we do with our time, we will all meet an end. As my pastor has said, “We are houses of dirt.”

 

Vintage Swimsuits
I spend almost an hour a day sweating my butt off so that I’m not totally embarrassed to wear a swimsuit. Sure, it’s good for my health, my heart, my longevity-and of course, Biceps appreciates it.

However, whether I’m Ms. Fitness or not (leaning more towards the “not”), I’m going to die and decay and rot. Muscles and fat and all.

 

Kirby Vaccuum
I spend countless hours a week ridding my home of softball-sized white dust bunnies, courtesy of two furry felines. Literally, I feel as if my house is really a “house of dirt”.

 

Vintage Cleaning
I wash our clothes, wipe down sinks, do dishes, clean mirrors, mow our lawn, tend the garden, wash the van, sweep up more dust bunnies (and then clump them into one giant fur pile to gross out Biceps).

But, our house could be leveled by a tornado or even a sharknado tomorrow-and all my cleaning, decorating and obsessing would be back to square one.

 

Working Women
I watch as the women I know work themselves into a frenzy-and I’m tempted to follow suit. My phone dings, rings and notifies me of something every two seconds. I am constantly “on call” as a realtor. My day doesn’t really end. I could make a little money with this job; or a lot of money and buy everything I’ve ever wanted and then what? I die?

If you have been storing your treasures here on earth-whether it’s a physically fit body, the perfectly clean showcase home, the awards and recognition from a job well done-I want to remind you that we are all made of dirt. We will all die and decay.

And then what?

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:20

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

 

Do you have a relationship with Christ and do you know Him in a deeply personal way-or do you know Him as the “man upstairs”? Have you understood His grace and His mercy and His forgiveness of your sins? If not, would you let me or someone you know talk with you about it?
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